Road Rules – “Acing the Airport”

We all know that traveling these days isn’t what it used to be.  If you remember the travel days prior to 9/11, we really had it easy and didn’t even know it!  We recall arriving at the airport 20-30 minutes prior to boarding and going straight to the plane.  Clearly those days are no more!

  • Always allow plenty of time to get to the airport so that you have some time to relax before boarding—a stressful act in and of itself!  Bring your PATIENCE with you.  Constant complaining or rudeness never gets you anywhere!
  • If you are a frequent “international” flyer, it pays to enroll in the Global Entry/Trusted Traveler program through the government website:  It will save time and patience when returning from an international trip by allowing you to go through a special kiosk instead of waiting in long lines for a customs agent.
  • A new application process will greatly increase the availability of TSA Pre-Check benefits to a broader population of U.S. citizens nationwide.  The TSA Pre-Check Application Program requires a background check, fingerprints, and an application fee of $85.00 for a five-year membership.  Once approved, travelers will receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN) and will have the opportunity to utilize TSA Pre-Check lanes at security checkpoints at more than 100 participating airports and on nine major U.S. airlines.  For information:
  • Know the TSA rules on what you can and cannot take through security.  Know the difference between liquids and gels that are subject to the 3-1-1 rule.  The TSA website  is helpful if you’re confused.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that will get you through security without having to disrobe—your fellow travelers will appreciate this!  Undergarments with “wires” almost always get you a pat-down.
  • Remember to remove shoes, coats, jackets and sweaters.  Slip-on shoes are a must!  Remove your laptop, empty your pockets, and hang on to that boarding pass and ID while going through the scanner.
  • Jewelry can be a pain—the least amount the better—and don’t put it on until you get through security.  Keep it in your purse.  Little drawstring jewelry pouches are great for this and will keep everything together.
  • Make it easy on yourself and your fellow travelers by having all those things you will need during your flight at the ready in your carry-on.  Place items such as glasses, books, medications, etc. in a bag that can be easily removed before you stow your carry-on in the overhead compartment.
  • A pashmina can be used for extra warmth or to wrap around your head for privacy while you sleep.  Beware of the “airline” blanket.  We’re not sure how sanitary they are!
  • Always clean the tray table on the plane.  We heard from an insider that they are rarely cleaned!   Use sanitary wipes (or hand sanitizer if you don’t have wipes).
  • You never know when you will need a quick snack, so always have protein bars, nuts, string cheese, etc. in your carry on.  Hunger makes you grumpy.   We also like the convenient flat expandable water bottles that you can fill once you’ve passed security.  We got ours at The Container Store.
  • Above all, be courteous.  Air travel, these days, is as stressful as it gets!  Leave that bad attitude at home!